Yeah, but it’s easy enough to pick apart what’s actually in this movie without having to extrapolate to what might have happened. It’s not an error of the movie that the planes didn’t fly into each other by accident; the Dulles controllers had some warning and would have assigned each plane a holding pattern that wouldn’t intersect with any other planes. The bad guys could have directed two planes into each other, and did direct one into the ground, but their goal wasn’t just to create chaos; they wanted to leverage the threat to those passengers so they could get Esperanza. The more planes they crash, the less leverage they have.
Now that I think about it, there was a whole lot simpler way to get what they wanted. If they’d never taken over all the airport systems, Esperanza’s plane would have landed and he would have been turned over to the U.S. military. Rather than taking over the airport and secretly having compatriots in the unit that was sent to stop them, why didn’t they just plant their own people in the unit that was sent to accept the prisoner. John Amos says to his boss “my squad isn’t busy, we’ll go pick up Esperanza for you.” They do that, load him on a truck, and drive to who-knows-where.
Oh, just one more thing. After circling around all evening because they couldn’t see the airport, all the pilots land safely by following the fire trail that’s laid out along the runway. How? It’s been instrument conditions all night, and it turns out they just needed lights on the runway?